A Dangerous Thing

First, let me say, this is MY OWN belief system at work today.  I don’t mean to offend anyone who has a different belief. Just think if EVERYONE believed the same thing.  Would you want to live in that world?
In response to last Wednesday’s Blog Entry called:
Paraplegic Berkeley Student Walks
Two of the responses I received at a facebook blog group called Blogplicity were:
–Dangerous Stuff.
–Because it gives false hope to people. What about all those who pray and are not healed. Usual answer is their faith not strong enough. Very sad
That was in reaction to what I wrote later in the post about how faith in ANYTHING can help you surmount any tragedy in your life.  Let me say a little about how the second response has informed my life, because I’ve heard this said before as well.

I SINCERELY believe in predestination.  In other words, certain aspects of our lives are already mapped out.  God/Source/Universe has your birthday and transition day (More on what this phrase means in a moment.) in their calendar and no amount of playing around will change that.  If you’re scheduled to pass on January 15, then that’s what will happen.  If you get sick in December and ALMOST pass it will NOT happen.  You’re scheduled to pass on January 15 and THAT date is written in stone.  No amount of prayer, no amount of faith will prevent that from passing.

A passing shouldn’t be seen as a sad thing.  Sure, it is distressing for those left behind.  But for the soul who has shed its earthly body, it is seen as a joyous celebration.  And that soul will return at some point as well and find the same souls as before to interact with.  Death is NOT the end.  It is simply a transition.  That’s why we call it a passing.  What is passing anyway, but a transfer.  And what does transfer mean?  In my world it means going from one place to the next.  There is no death.  Death is simply a transition.  Having faith has nothing to do with your passing.  As a matter of fact, I’d say (and I MAY be opening myself up for more criticism here, ) a passing should be celebrated.  Seeing a loved one in the flesh often is no comparison to having that friend no longer there in the body; but the body grows tired and it needs its rest.  If you can remember that transitioning is simply like going to sleep at night and waking in the morning maybe people will fear that state less.  That may be one reason we DO sleep.  Yes our physical bodies need their sleep. However, sleeping may be a transition in itself.  The act of sleeping may be our soul’s way of telling us:
See?  You sleep and yet you wake up the next day.  Why do you think transitioning will be any different?

I’ll say it again.  Faith plays no part in when you’re scheduled to transition.  Your birthday and transition day is written in stone.  There is no escaping that.  Why not celebrate it instead?  There is no false hope.  The ONLY false hope that exists is if you don’t have faith that you will pass through your transition day and come out the other side just as you are.

Be Well!  Be Happy!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you all.

Chris

Inner Guidance

Once again, there’s more post shifting happening.  A friend of mine who receives my blog via email wrote this on Wednesday:  

This from a friend today (Wednesday May 4) after reading my most recent blog post:
Chris, I liked your post called A Special Moment  today.  I was wondering if you’d write your thoughts on inner guidance. I would say I’m fairly in touch with what it is I want and who I am, but two things have happened recently that have made me really stop and ask, “wait a minute” and it’s made me realize that what I thought I wanted is not really what I want. This happened very subtly and I really feel this sense of inner guidance to just keep doing what I’m doing rather than make a drastic change. How would you say that you know it’s inner guidance?Profound questions, huh?  Let me start by saying what I THINK of as inner guidance may NOT be what someone else sees.  With that said, ANY type of sense that someone gets whether it be a feeling that something isn’t quite right, if you’re walking down the street some day or even driving somewhere and you suddenly have an inexplicable feeling to take a left instead of the right you were planning on taking, by ALL means take that left.  It may just save your life, or may run into that person you’d been seeking your ENTIRE life.

Inner guidance can mean many things to many people.  For me, inner guidance is the rudder we use to steer our lives by.  If you have feeling that something is telling you to do one thing and yet you’re doing something COMPLETELY different, if it is at ALL possible, follow that voice.  Ninety nine percent of the time you’ll never be sorry.

Here’s an example I’ve used here before and for those who have seen it I apologize in advance:
In the late 1980s I became involved with Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center in New Haven, Connecticut in hopes of finding employment.  Without rehashing the entire episode again let me just say I soon realized Easter Seals was not where I belonged.  My inner voice was screaming:
GET OUT!

It took me about a month after hearing that voice to listen to it.  But I’m in SUCH a BETTER place now then I would have been had I not heeded that voice.

Inner Guidance is an EXTREMELY important sense to follow.  Listen for that voice, that guidance.  It will NEVER steer you wrong.  If something is telling you to change your life, then by all means IF you CAN heed that voice don’t wait for a second calling. You’ll know if what you’re looking to do is the right thing.  If it’s NOT the right thing you’ll find too many obstacles placed in your path.  You may try moving out of state.  You may apply for a new job.  You may put your house up for sale but if these things are note predestined to happen (Yes I believe in predestination.) then no amount of attempting to make these changes will come to fruition.

Hope that helps, my friend.

Be Happy!  Be Well  Be Positive!
Blessings to you!

Chris

Your Life Is Like A River

“Your life is like a river. If you’re aiming for a goal that isn’t your destiny, you will always be swimming against the current. Young Gandhi wants to be a stock car racer? Not gonna happen. Little Anne Frank wants to be a high school teacher? Tough Anne. That’s not your destiny. But you will go on to move the hearts and minds of millions. Find out what your destiny is and the river will carry you. Sometimes events in life give an individual clues as to where their destiny lies.”

George Clooney as Lyn Skip Cassady
in The Men Who Stare At Goats

Watched this movie yesterday and the quotation above really resonated with me. Once I heard it, my ears perked up and I began listening for more inspirational passages from this movie. There were others but none as strong. One of the reasons I chose to write about this, is that I sometimes dip into Wayne Dyer’s treasure trove of slogans. The one I like best is:
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.

I can see where these two quotations go hand in hand. Your life is LIKE a river. There are going to be obstacles in the river and there are going to be obstacles in your life. If you watch a river, you’ll see that it ALWAYS finds a way to move through or around the obstacles placed in its path. That’s what we have to do. Learn to pass through these challenges. A river’s destiny is to start at its source and flow to the ocean. Do you feel as if you are swimming against the current? Nothing is working for you? You constantly feel stressed? Your life is out of control? Maybe you’re not facing your destiny.

Has someone else taken control of your river? Diverted it? Watch a diverted river sometime. What happens? It eventually finds its way back, right? We all know what our path is, what our destiny is. Don’t let outside influences dictate what you should be doing. ONLY you know what’s right for you. Find a way to flow to YOUR ocean. When obstacles appear in front of you, change your course but find your way back quickly. As I’ve written here before, I ALWAYS knew my destiny was with books.

I was given clues to my destiny from a very early age. I always had a pen and paper with me, writing ALL the time, always carried a book with me and reading at every opportunity. There were two book stores that opened in Madison at two different times while I’ve been living here. I put applications in at both at different times. The first store, The Madison Newsstand, rejected me out of hand. There is a library patron who stops in all the time. His wife worked at The Newsstand when I applied there and they still bring up the fact that it was a HUGE mistake by the manager not to hire me. The other book store that opened is RJ Julia’s. I actually applied there on three different occasions before I was hired. See? I didn’t give up, because I LOVED being around books.

I also had dreams of having a writing career. Challenges were placed in MY river. I found my way around those and diverted my river. I’m now IN the book field and in a MUCH better position then I would have been in the solitary writing career. I’m a people person, always have been. I need that social interaction with other people, so where I am now is where I always should have been.

Writing once again is an important part of my life. Odd how things come full circle sometimes. Several years ago, when I gave up writing I never thought I’d come back to it with a renewed love for it, but here I am. My river returned to its source and I’m reinvigorated for it. As a result of my renewed interest I was recently hired my Madison Connecticut’s Patch service as monthly columnist. Once again this just proves to me that writing was always and still is part of my destiny, part of my ocean.

To all of you who are unhappy, all of you who dread getting up in the morning, facing a career choice you’ve made, I ask you:
Did you REALLY make that choice, or was your river diverted so drastically that you can’t find your ocean?

Regardless of what some may tell you, it is NEVER too late to find your ocean. Listen to George Clooney’s character:
“Your life is like a river. If you’re aiming for a goal that isn’t your destiny, you will always be swimming against the current. Young Gandhi wants to be a stock car racer? Not gonna happen. Little Anne Frank wants to be a high school teacher? Tough Anne. That’s not your destiny.

Find your ocean and you’ll be gladly swimming towards it the entire rest of your life.

Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!

Chris

Being Spiritual

I am not a religious person in the least. Organized religion is not how I practice communication with MY God/Source/Higher Power. Etc. I speak to my God ALL the time. I feel blessed in everything I have, everything I do and everything that has happened in my life. Every morning when I get into my car I look up and thank god that I can drive.

 

There was a time not long ago that it didn’t appear that driving was going to be in my future. For various medical reasons, I wasn’t able to get my driver’s license until I was about thirty. I still cannot drive on the highway.

 

I sincerely believe there are aspects to our lives that are pre-ordained (as in predestination.)  and no matter what we do we cannot change some of these plans God has for us. There have been times when I’ve tried to change certain arrangements in my life. However, no matter what I did to try and alter these arrangements, things never worked out. For example, during an extremely low point in my life in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s I contemplated moving to New York with my Dad and his wife, I even talked to him about it, but that was around the time they were planning on leaving New York themselves. So the plans never came to fruition. Now as I look back at that experience, I believe it was God’s way of saying:
“And you thought you were leaving Madison? I don’t think so!”
A work related experience:

In the late 1980’s I hooked up with Easter Seals Rehab Center in New Haven in an attempt to help me find fulfilling employment. When I began my association with the organization I felt exhilarated, I thought I finally found a place that would be my support. Shortly after I started my partnership I realized it was the wrong fit, but I continued working with them long past the time I should have. The organization was placing in jobs well below my ability and I even though I understood this I continued to work with them. I understand now that I went through that phase in my life to get to where I am now. I see a correlation to The Shawshank Redemption in this story.

 

Sometimes you have to walk through a lot of shit to come out the other side. I attempted to find gainful employment with a service I thought was there to help me. As it turned out none of their plans for me worked out. Just as an example of some of the jobs they were placing me in, one was a dishwasher in a nursing home. The one that convinced me they were completely in left field and the one that prompted me to sever ties with them was (Okay, get ready to choke on your own laughter) as an elevator operator. When I heard that I nearly choked on my laughter. It wasn’t much later that I registered for classes at Southern CT State University.

 

God had a plan for me to be involved with books at an early age. That was clear to me, but it wasn’t so clear to my family. Once I enrolled at Southern in the early 1990’s I had a clear vision that I’d be hired at the Scranton Library. I knew it, like I knew how to breath. I still recall my Mom’s words after I enrolled:
What are you going to do with a library science degree? How do you know you’ll even get hired at the library? I understand those questions came from her fear. I looked her in the eye and said: The library will hire me.” I knew it. And you know what? They hired me. My God was slowly pointing me in the right direction. It was pre-ordained that I’d be working in Madison, living in Madison and I never feared that it wouldn’t happen.

 

Another example I have of God interfering in my plans:
Before we moved to Madison, from Branford in 1978 we had looked at another house in Branford. I BELIEVE we were about to make an offer, when we looked at the house on Warpas Road. Obviously we took the house in Madison and it wasn’t until much later when I started my secondary education at Southern that I had another A-Ha Moment. My English professor at Southern lived two houses down from me on Warpas Road. Seeing as I didn’t drive on the highway, I was able to coordinate my schedule with hers so I could ride in and MOST days ride home with her. Had I lived in Branford that would never have happened.

Look at where I live now:
My Aunt owned the condo where I live before I moved in. Again another example of God stepping in and taking care of me. I believe my getting this condo was pre-ordained. I believe my Mom meeting John, my step dad was pre-ordained. If that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be living here in Madison, within walking distance to work, since it was HIS aunt that owned the condo. As I look back on all the issues I had growing with my step dad, all the not so wonderful moments, I can now honestly say that that time period was well worth going through to get to where I am now. There are certain things that happen in our lives that simply can not be altered and even if we try to change them, God will look down on us, smile and shake his finger at us and say:
“I don’t think so!”

 

That’s what makes me so convinced that there is a power greater then ourselves guiding our lives. Oh sure, we have the ability to change certain aspects of our lives. I’m not saying we don’t. But if there is something major we’re trying to do, such as a move out of the town or state we live in or looking for a long term relationship and if something always seems to prevent that change from taking place, don’t despair and don’t get angry because what I’m saying is that perhaps it is God shaking his finger at us. He has other better plans for us. Have you seen this at work in your lives?

 

That’s what makes me so spiritual, just knowing that MY God is in my life and he’s guiding me along the path of my life. I am convinced that God is with me now and always. Because I believe in the miraculous in every day routines, it is easy for me to understand that it is God working in my life. Unless you’re steeped in the faithful, you will not see this to be the case and you’ll go through life oblivious to the power of God. For me that’s sad.

 

I can’t live a faithless life. My God is too important to me and I carry on a conversation with him/her/it whatever all the time. At night when I go to bed, I say my nightly prayers, giving thanks and blessings to all of my friends and family. In the morning when I wake up I give thanks for a restful night and ask to have a grateful day. Throughout the day I carry on a conversation. I feel truly blessed to have this faith and it has carried me through some very dark hours. I always look for the light and I believe it is because I have this faith that I have been able to persevere when an obstacle is placed in my path.

 

So being spiritual to me is:
1. Knowing that God is in my life and is guiding me through the good times and the not so good times.
2. Knowing when something I want to do just is not happening no matter how many ways I try to make it happen, it’s God shaking his finger at me saying:
Not this path, but just wait, I have something better for you down another path that has not been cleared yet.
3. Knowing, putting into practice and living daily my mantra:
There are are no coincidences
There are no accidents
There is only God!

 

I hope some of what I’ve said here helps everyone who is currently struggling with certain aspects of their lives. Just know that God is in everyone’s lives and is guiding them along their own path. If something you’re trying to change isn’t, think for a moment that maybe what you’re trying to change is a big alteration in the fabric of your life and God has already pre-ordained something else, something better. I understand when you’re in a situation that you desperately want to get out of and everything you’ve tried is not working, just think that maybe the reason your plans are not working is because this certain thing you’re struggling to change can’t be done the way you’re attempting to change it. Don’t push back!
Remember:
“Row, row, row your boat gently DOWN the stream.”

Chris
Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.